A CYCLIST who was left in a critical condition after a collision with a car driven by Saints’ star Charlie Austin has spoken about losing his memory and how the crash has changed his life forever.

Anthony Grey, from Southampton suffered injuries to his head, neck and toes and underwent a five hour operation to insert a metal plate in his damaged spine so he would be able to walk again after he was hit by the footballer’s Bentley.

He says he cannot remember anything about the incident and was desperate to meet the millionaire star and “get some closure” about what happened.

Mr Austin’s Bentley collided with Anthony, who was riding without a helmet, across the traffic lights at the junction of New Road, East Park Terrace and Palmerston Road in Southampton.

Father-of-one Anthony, who lives in the city centre, was issued with a fixed penalty notice for riding through a traffic light on the bicycle, which he bought the day before the incident.

Anthony said he had not ridden a bike for years although he had driven a motorcycle.

Charlie Austin voluntarily attended an interview under caution and admitted driving without due care and attention. He now has the option of attending a driver awareness course or court.

“I don’t remember much until the day after. The worst is not knowing,” Anthony said.

“I have what the police said and nothing more. In my head I need to understand what happened and figure it out and the only one who can help me is Charlie Austin.”

Friends have told 37-year-old Anthony, who volunteers for the Hampshire-based charity Naomi House Children’s Hospice, that he had left work and gone home to collect some things before hopping on his bike to go to a friend’s house in Shirley.

“The last thing I remember is leaving work at 4.30pm and the incident was at 5.30pm,” he said.

“I remember coming around and a police officer giving me my rucksack cut in half.

“It was excruciating. I could not move my legs or my upper body at all.

"I had to wear a neck collar and body brace.

“The surgeons have fixed it though and have done an incredible job...I should be in a wheelchair but I am not.”

Anthony had been told that the Saints star got out of his car and helped him while emergency services were on their way.

“I would like to thank him if nothing else,” he said. “I just want to understand how it all happened. I know where I was going and doing but something went horribly wrong.”

Anthony said he would never ride a bicycle again.

“It is just not safe to cycle in Southampton. Cyclists don’t belong on the path with pedestrians and they don’t belong on the roads where everything is just moving too fast.

“Some cyclist just don’t pay respect to the road...I have aways said people should wear safely gear and if they do something wrong while cycling on the road they could be held accountable - police gave me a ticket for running an amber light - this maybe why I was hit I don’t know.

"I don’t blame anyone... We were both there and we both made a mistake.”

Anthony said he still suffered knee and elbow pain although but he was just happy to be alive.

“It has changed my life but I have made it a positive. What choice do I have?

“It has given me a new outlook on life – I feel like I have been given a second chance – although I don’t know if I deserve it.”

Following October’s accident Mr Austin was reported as saying: “I was driving in the city centre of Southampton and had stopped at traffic lights at a junction.

“I moved forward when the lights turned green and it was at that point that a cyclist unexpectedly came across my path and a collision occurred.

“Following a police investigation of the accident, I provided a statement to the Hampshire Constabulary in early 2017 to give them my version of events.”

After the Daily Echo contacted Southampton Football Club, a spokesman said it was to their understanding that contact had been made between both parties.

He added, given it was a personal situation that Charlie had commented on through a statement reported in the national press and that both parties were co-operating with the police, it would be inappropriate to become involved and comment.

The striker, who has scored nine goals this season, and was signed by Saints in January last year for a reported £4 million from Queens Park Rangers.

His career at St Mary’s has been dogged by injury and he is currently on the sidelines since early December due to a shoulder injury and is not due back before April.